Four Admiral Gorshkov-class Frigate for the Northern Fleet

The Russian Navy is currently undergoing a major upgrade program, enabling them to regain its ‘blue-water operations‘ status. The Northern Fleet, who has the most nuclear-powered warships and submarines, is the Russian Navy tip of the spear.

Although the Fleet is ageing, Russia has approved the construction of four state-of-the-art frigate capable of conducting anti-submarine warfare, escorts missions and long range strikes; the Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate. The new frigate is the biggest Naval vessel built in Russia in almost 2 decades, another sign of Russia’s willingness to have a powerful versatile Navy.

Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov-class Frigate, Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Gorshkov in 2015.
Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov-class Frigate, Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Gorshkov in 2015.

Russia has set a requirement of 20-30 Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate to replace the older Project 956 Sovremenny class destroyers and Project 1135 Burevestnik class frigates in four Russian fleets.

Due to its versatility, the frigate can easily replace old destroyers and frigates. In fact, its capacity to launch Kalibr and Oniks cruise missiles as well as its 2 × 4 330mm torpedo tubes for Paket-NK anti-torpedo/anti-submarine torpedoes make it a formidable warship.

 130mm Amethyst/Arsenal A-192M naval gun
130mm Amethyst/Arsenal A-192M naval gun

The frigate is equipped with a 130mm Amethyst/Arsenal A-192M naval gun capable of firing 45 rounds per minute. To defend itself against incoming anti-ship missiles, anti-radar missiles and guided bombs, the Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate is equipped with two Palash Close In Weapon Systems (CIWS).

It is also equipped with Redut VLS cells housing 9M96, 9M96M, 9M96D/9M96DM(M2) family of missiles and/or quad-packed 9M100 short range missiles. In total, 32 missiles can be launched.

The 9M96 is used in the famous S-400 with a range between one to forty kilometers. It can hit a target at up to 65,616 feet.


9M96E1 and 9M96E2
9M96E1 and 9M96E2 SAM

According to Wikipedia, the frigate also operates a range of sensors, processing systems, electronic warfare and decoys.

Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Air search radar: Furke-4 5P-27 Detecting, tracking and targeting of air and surface targets, Poliment 5P-20K 4 faced active phased array search, tracking and guidance radar.
  • Surface search radar: Monolit 34K1 surface search & AShM targeting radar
  • Fire control radar: Puma 5P-10
  • Sonar: Zarya M sonar, Vinyetka towed array sonar
  • Navigation: 3 × Pal-N radars
  • Other: 2 × target illuminators aft superstructure for Palash CIWS
  • Communications: Vigstar Centaurus-NM
  • Electro-Optical Systems: 2 × MTK-201M and 2 × 5P-520
  • Combat system: Sigma/Sigma 22350
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • EW Suite: Prosvet-M
  • Countermeasures:
  • 2 × PU KT-308
  • 8 × PU KT-216

The Russian Navy will have a stronger Northern Fleet and better capabilities in both the Arctic and the Barents Sea. Adding to that, the addition of the frigates will make it easier for the Northern Fleet to conduct blue-water operations thus making them one of the strongest Navy able to sail around the world.

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Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.